By Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
You can be a VII if you give up everything.
For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery- looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves- or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked- surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under her mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed… and one Kitty believes in. faced with threats, conspiracies, and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose- and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.
Plot: Kitty Doe has just done her test after turning 17 and has been labelled a III, which is nearly as low as you can go before being taken away. Deciding that she doesn’t care whether she lives or dies, Kitty goes and steals an orange and gets busted by the Shield (police), however when their backs are turned Kitty runs away so that they can’t arrest her. Instead of going and working where she was assigned, Kitty decides to leave her boyfriend behind and go and work in a brothel. Here she is offered up for auction on her first night and is brought for a staggering amount by the same Shield member who went to arrest her. Upon returning to the room where the act is meant to happen, instead of finding the Shield member she finds the current Prime Minister who needs her help.
His niece, Lila Hart, has been killed in a snow accident and as Kitty has the same eyes as Lila, the prime minister is willing to let her become Lila Hart with his help. This means Kitty would leave behind her life in the Bronx, her boyfriend and her III status and become a VII and live in the wealthiest part of the country.
Upon saying yes, Kitty is flown to a secret location and is transformed into Lila. But little did Kitty know what she was really getting herself into. Lila was actually the face and spokesperson for a rebellion that would force Lila’s family out of power and allow a new fair leader to take over leadership of the country and make it a better place where everyone is equal. Unfortunately for Kitty this is something that she highly believes in and so doesn’t quite know what to do. Along the way to discovering everything there is to know about Lila she also makes some discoveries herself about the family that everyone believes is the strongest unit in the country.
What I liked about the book: I loved the name of the book and thought that it is very fitting to the story and it really showed why I liked the book. Kitty Doe is certainly a Pawn in this book and not just for one person but for many. She is placed into a position of power and more than one person is trying to use her for their own personal gain. But no matter how much people pressure her she is not willing to go with the person that offers her the most. She will do what she believes will benefit her and people like her, people who aren’t necessarily academically smart but are smart in other areas and aren’t being given the chance to do more. Kitty believes that everyone should be given the same chance and that is why she wants to continue on with what Lila was doing before her ‘death’.
Plus there is also the fact that it is a dystopian book and I have a fond spot for the genre after reading the Hunger Games.
What I didn’t like about the book: Unfortunately I found the book to be a little slow and it took me a very long time to get into it. I don’t know why but it just seemed like it took me forever to attach to not only the character but also the storyline itself. It made it really difficult because I had heard such great things about the book and love Aimee Carter’s writing that it really disappointed me that I couldn’t get into it from the start especially as it was from a genre that I really have come to love.
Favourite character: I think my favourite character would have to be ‘Knox’ aka Lennox Creed. He is trying to break the family mould and be his own person. Throughout the book we are left wondering whether he is a friend to Kitty or a foe to Kitty and I am pretty sure that by the end of the book we are given an answer but then again you never know. It was great to see that even though he knows that Kitty isn’t really Lila he still treats her exactly the same way that he would Lila and protects her from anything that could potentially harm her current position, but in saying that his love for the real Lila never changes. He is kind, mysterious, has a bad ass name and never hides the fact that Lila didn’t really want to marry him. Hopefully we see some action between Knox and Kitty later on.
Favourite part/quote: I think the part below clearly defines the book:
“Have you ever played chess, Kitty?”
I eyed her. What did a board game have to do with this?
“You and I should play sometimes. I think you would like it,” she said. “It’s a game of strategy, mostly. The strong pieces are in the back row, while the weak pieces- the pawns- are all in the front, ready to take the brunt of the attack. Because of their limited movement and vulnerability, most people underestimate them and only use them to protect more powerful pieces. But when I play, I protect my pawns.”
‘Why?” I said, not entirely sure where this conversation was going. “if they’re weak, then what’s the point?”
“They may be weak when the game begins, but their potential is remarkable. Most of the time, they’ll be taken by the other side and held captive until the end of the game. But if you’re careful- if you protect your pawns and they reach the other side of the board, do you know what happens then?”
I shook my head, and she smiled.
“Your pawn becomes a queen.” She touched my cheek, her fingers cold as ice. “Because they kept moving forward and triumphed against impossible odds, they become the most powerful piece in the game. Never forget that, all right? Never forget the potential one solitary pawn has to change the entire game.”